Interferometric modulator display

Interferometric modulator display

Interferometric modulator display (IMOD)cite web
title=Interferometric Modulator (IMOD) Technology Overview | format=PDF | accessdate=2008-08-07 | publisher=Qualcom
date=May 2008
] is an electrically switched display composed of miniature Fabry-Perot interferometers (etalons) that are switched on and off with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). An etalon reflects light at a specific wavelength and gives pure, bright colors like those a butterfly's wings, while consuming no power. Qualcomm has demonstrated the technology in prototype. IMOD technology was developed for use in mobile phones and other portable devices.

An IMOD is composed of subpixels that are actually individual Fabry-Perot interferometers (etalons), like those in butterfly wings. An etalon consists of two mirrors, one opaque and one half-silvered, with an air gap of an exact distance between them. This distance determines the wavelength that the etalon amplifies by constructive interference. As the light is "selected" from incoming light, the display is actually brighter in bright sunlight. In contrast, a back-lit LED display suffers from incoming light. The etalon is switched off by bringing the mirrors very close together, pushing the wavelength into the invisible ultraviolet range. A microelectromechanical device moves the lower, opaque mirror to achieve this.

For a practical RGB display, a single RGB pixel is built from several subpixels, because the brightness of a monochromic pixel is not adjusted. A monochromatic array of subpixels represents different brightness levels for each color, and for each pixel, there are three such arrays: red, green and blue.

IMOD displays are now available in the commercial marketplace. Qualcomm MEMS displays, using IMOD technology, are found in the Acoustic Research ARWH1 Stereo Bluetooth headset device. Similar displays are soon to be found in cell phones made by Chinese handset maker Hisense.



* cite news | author=M. Mitchell Waldrop | title=Brilliant Displays | url= | format=print
work=Scientific American | publisher=Scientific American, Inc. | pages=94–97
date=November 2007 | accessdate=2008-07-06
quote=(subtitle) A new technology that mimics the way nature gives bright color to butterfly wings can make cell phone displays clearly legible, even in the sun's glare.

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